New Analysis by BlueGreen Alliance Also Estimates Energy and Money Saved by Energy Efficiency Upgrades in M.U.S.H. Sector
ST. PAUL, Minn. (February 7, 2017) – The BlueGreen Alliance today released a new analysis that showed 15,000 direct jobs could be created or sustained by 2030 by reducing energy used in the state’s hospitals, universities, schools, and health care (M.U.S.H.) sector by 20 percent. The study—20 for MN: A Proposal To Reduce Minnesota’s Energy Use In The M.U.S.H. Sector By 20 Percent—also found that increased efficiency in that sector would save over 36,000 gigawatt hours of energy and save consumers $3.1 billion in that same time span.“Clearly, there’s a need to improve the energy and water efficiency in this sector,” said Bob Ryan, the coordinator of the United Steelworkers District 11 Rapid Response program. “Doing this the right way would support jobs in the local economy, improve the condition of these buildings, and even reduce the strain that energy costs put on municipal budgets.”
Energy efficiency is a jobs driver in the growing clean economy. A study by Clean Jobs Midwest found that there are more than 54,000 workers in Minnesota’s clean economy and that 87 percent of those jobs were in the energy efficiency sector.
“Making our public buildings more energy efficient is just a common sense idea,” said Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 10 Political Director Pete Parris. “And it’s one that will grow good jobs and reduce pollution. This is work that needs to be done anyway, so let’s find ways to do it now, and to do it the right way with skilled, trained workers.”
The American Society of Civil Engineers found that Minnesota’s schools alone had $3.7 billion in infrastructure needs. Both existing programs and other financing options could be utilized to fund the repairs. Policies that could be used include “green banks,” utilizing on-bill financing similar to Minnesota’s current Property Assessed Clean Energy law, and leveraging federal funding.
“If we can avoid wasting energy, while creating quality jobs, that’s an idea that should have bipartisan appeal,” said Sierra Club North Star Chapter State Director Margaret Levin. “This is a practical and pragmatic approach to address our state’s greenhouse gas emissions that will also, in the end, save us money.”
“The bottom line is that reducing waste in our M.U.S.H. sector by 20 percent is both achievable policy and good policy,” said BlueGreen Alliance Minnesota Regional Program Manager Bree Halverson. “This is another example of an area where Minnesotans could rally around an ideal that benefits not just our economy and workers, but our environment as well.”